News The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

David Prosser: Fierce headwinds face British Airways' attempts to get back in the black

Outlook Go Willie, go. The Iberia merger may finally be cleared for take-off, the pension scheme hurdle having been officially overcome yesterday, but British Airways boss Willie Walsh will be acutely aware of the turbulence he faces turning the fortunes of his business around. This, after all, is an airline that lost more money in the first quarter of this year than in the same period of 2009.

48 Hours In: Barbados

Whether you seek exclusive resorts or seaside shacks, this coral island offers plenty to fill a short break.

Jobless claimant count shows surprise rise

The closely watched Jobseeker's Allowance claimant count rose by an unexpected 2,300 last month to 1.47 million, marking the first increase since January, official figures today revealed.



Strike averted at Virgin Atlantic

The threat of strikes by Virgin Atlantic pilots has been averted after a dispute over days off was resolved.

Virgin Atlantic's growth plans signal uplift in airline industry confidence

Virgin Atlantic is adding flights to the Caribbean from next year in a further sign of airlines' confidence of a recovery in the recession-hit industry.

Virgin upbeat despite operating loss

Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic announced today that it made a big operating loss last year but that revenues and passenger numbers rose in the first part of this year.

Lords to question officials over ash cloud

Government officials will face questions today from a House of Lords committee over Whitehall's handling of the ash cloud crisis which devastated air services.

The ultimate travel challenge: Look no further for a last-minute family holiday

Every week we invite competing companies to provide their best deal for a specific holiday – and today we're running a travel challenge special edition. We've asked seven holiday companies to give us their top three late-availability family summer holidays for travel between now and the start of September.

Virgin Galactic spacecraft makes first crewed flight

A company working to send tourists on suborbital flights says it has tested its spacecraft with a crew for the first time.

BA-Iberia merger given green light by Europe

A merger between British Airways and Spain's Iberia national carrier was approved by the European Commission today.

Questions Of Cash: Costly mix-up over car loan and insurance

Q. I took out private car insurance with Sureterm Direct in April for a car that we had looked at on the internet, arranging insurance to drive it home. When we went to collect the vehicle it was not as described, so we declined to buy it. Sureterm had also arranged finance with Close Premium Finance. We cancelled the insurance and purchased another vehicle two weeks later. Sureterm again arranged the insurance and advised that a new direct debit would be arranged. Close Premium Finance attempted to apply the direct debit on 16 May, but the direct debit had been cancelled along with the insurance – we presume by the broker, as we had not done this. I received a letter from Close on 19 May, stating that no payment had been received. It said that unless a payment was made by 3 June it would take further action.

Cabin crew union seeks to avert strike ballot after new BA proposals

With the score standing at one million disrupted journeys, £150m in direct losses and untold reputational damage, the British Airways cabin-crew dispute may finally be moving towards a messy conclusion.

Click, pack and go: our pick of the week’s travel deals

Will they stay or will they go? The England team will undoubtedly be hoping to extend their sojourn in South Africa today. Granted, their motive will be to secure a place in the next round, rather than to enjoy a prolonged holiday - as Capello has been at pains to tell us. Nevertheless, if the England team does progress, our footballers will be getting the chance to see more of the nation’s alluring provinces, from Cape Town to Johannesburg via Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.You don't need a sporting motive to want to spend more time away from home, however.

Simon Calder: Airline faces the music as 'ABBA' chorus grows

The Royal Courts of Justice have much in common with Terminal Five at Heathrow: besides soaring cathedral-like lines, they are both places that people pass through in hope or despair. These days, you are also likely to bump into a lot of British Airways managers and cabin crew at either venue.

BA price-fixing trial collapses after discovery of new evidence

Virgin Atlantic denied withholding evidence from a price-fixing trial of airline executives, which collapsed yesterday amid bitter recriminations.

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How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

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The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
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Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

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Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

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Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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The Open 2014

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